the wrong side of the bed

Sunday, August 14, 2005

different and the same

when i was younger, my older sister and i were very much alike. i was a fatter version of her, delayed a few years, but following the same path. we used to be close in the way that meant that we finished each other's sentences and would accidently wear the same shirt when we went places together. through some deliberate younger-sister-complex changes, i altered my appearance so we looked even more different (being the fat one of the pair isn't always the best way to be distinguished). then we began to make decisions with our lives that took us in disimilar directions. now she is married, has a seven year old son, has just sold her second house and bought her third, and doesn't have time to sit down and realize that she doesn't know if she is doing the right things in her life. i am 29 and have nothing to show for it except a large collection of toys (mostly made in sweatshops, thanks for asking). i have nothing but time to sit down and think about what i am doing with my life.

how do you think about your life? how do you know what to do? i am down lately, so it seems like i have never been happy. this makes it difficult to think about doing something that would make me happy. how do you know? what does happy feel like?
9:02 AM


I do not know what happy feels like right now, but you might make yourself feel better by comparing yourself to me:
1) You do not live in Utah.
2) You have a boyfriend who seems to like you.
3) You can still look forward to the possibility of getting a good job in a fun place instead of realizing you may have already fucked up and gotten yourself stuck before you're even 30.
4) You don't live in a town where the Panda Express is the 3rd best restaurant in town.

Do you feel better now?
Blogger Gwen, at 8:52 PM  
1. true
2. debatable
3. not at the rate i am going. besides, you can always look for another job.
4. well, maybe the other two are really awesome?

anyway, comparing myself to you doesn't work. i just feel sad for both of us.
Blogger dorotha, at 9:14 AM  
So I was thinking about Ang's comments about how life and relationships are a big fucking mess and I was also thinking about how Dorotha seems to be trying to imagine a better life for herself in which she'd be happy. And I have to say I think Ang is on to something. I mean, I do think we have to ask ourselves Big Questions about how to make our lives meaningful and fulfilling, but we also have to work with what we've got and find happiness even in the most unplanned and less-than-ideal situations.

In my own experience, it is a bad idea to try to work on the big meaning-of-life questions when you're depressed. You might end up taking the LSAT or doing something equally crazy. Find a way to get out of your funk, and then if you still don't think your life is going in the right direction, that's the time to make some changes. But first you've gotta deal with the depression. Here are the things that help me get un-depressed: making things, gardening, caring for animals or other living things, hiking or walking long distances, cooking. I guess those are all creative and/or life affirming things, although I didn't pick them for that reason. They just happen to work.

But then there remains the problem of creating a life you are proud of, and that's something I don't really know how to work out. I think it's something different from (though not exclusive of) happiness, though.
Blogger AK, at 1:01 PM  

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